Prospect budget heading back to referendum

 

 

Prospect resident Alexander Delelle, left, receives a ballot during a budget referendum April 29 from volunteer Kathleen Graveline, while Deputy Registrar of Voters Betty Guevin looks at the Volunteer Firehouse of Prospect. The first municipal budget proposal of $7.4 million budget failed by 66 votes and a $7.3 million budget heads to a vote Monday. –FILE PHOTO

Prospect resident Alexander Delelle, left, receives a ballot during a budget referendum April 29 from volunteer Kathleen Graveline, while Deputy Registrar of Voters Betty Guevin looks at the Volunteer Firehouse of Prospect. The first municipal budget proposal of $7.4 million budget failed by 66 votes and a $7.3 million budget heads to a vote Monday. –FILE PHOTO

PROSPECT — Town officials are hoping the second time will be the charm for the budget.

A second referendum on the town’s proposed 2013-14 municipal budget will be held Monday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the firehouse on New Haven Road. The budget proposal is $7.3 million, an increase of about $340,000 over the current budget. It does not include education expenses for Region 16, which oversees schools in Prospect and Beacon Falls.

Town Council Chairman Tom Galvin hopes residents will turn out in support of the budget.

“It is important to approve this budget so we can maintain the high quality of life we’ve become accustom to,” Galvin said.

The original proposal, about $7.4 million, was defeated by 66 votes at the first referendum April 29. Following the referendum, the Town Council trimmed the increase by $110,500 including $62,000 from contingency funds, limiting the hours of the recycling center to save $5,400, removing $2,500 from the Prospect Library’s book account and removing $1,000 from the snow and ice budget.

“We’ve reduced contingency and are hoping for a good winter,” Galvin said of the reductions to the budget.

Mayor Robert Chatfield encouraged residents to visit the town’s website, www.townofprospect.org, to gather information about the proposed budget.

“Everything to do with the town budget, including the cuts and an updated revenue sheet, the new budget, Connecticut Council of Municipalities salaries for towns between 5,000 and 9,999 residents, and the budget information packet are online,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield said he was disappointed that only 51 people downloaded the information from the website prior to the first referendum vote. He hopes that more people will take advantage of the resources before this referendum.

“Please go online and get your facts and information,” Chatfield said. “It’s the items you’ll be voting on, not opinions. I think that’s very important.”

Chatfield pointed out that the town budget is only 25 percent of taxes, with Region 16 making up the other 75 percent.

Chatfield expressed concerns about what would happen if this budget did not pass.

“If they don’t [vote to pass this budget] we’ll unfortunately have to dismantle and take things away from other popular programs and accounts,” Chatfield said.